As the lions prepare to face West Brom tomorrow, Villa fans again sense the unpredictability of derby matches. At the best of times, the Villans are unpredictable and this has been the case so far this season, with wins against Arsenal and Manchester City – teams people wouldn’t expect Villa to beat – and draws against West Ham and Hull – teams people would expect us to beat. With derby days, however, form and quality go out the window as teams fight to earn the bragging rights.

Throughout our proud history, the two midlands sides have met 161 times. Of those games, Villa teams have won 52, lost 74 and drawn 35. On the last three occasions the teams have met, the games have ended in draws, perhaps highlighting how evenly matched the two teams are in terms of quality despite their differing fortunes of late. It also shows the tight nature of derby matches as neither team wants to lose and give the oppositions fans the right to gloat and brag until they meet again.

With the international break behind them, both teams will be hoping to seal their return to Premiership action with a win, which means the probability of tomorrow night’s game being a lively affair is high. With the Villa team travelling a few miles up the road to The Hawthorns, many fans are optimistic as Lambert’s men seem to perform better on the road, which could lead the manager to field the most line-up available to him in order to cause West Brom some problems at the back. No matter what the outcome, it is likely that, in keeping with the nature of derby games, the match will be rather scrappy.

Having looked at the results between the teams in the last few years, I sense another draw on the cards tomorrow night or a very late winner, for either team, in what is set to be a tight game. The boys in claret and blue are going to have to work hard and press up the pitch as Steve Clarke’s players have been in good form lately, boasting a win and a very impressive draw from their last two games.

As a Villa fan, all you can do in this unpredictable derby game is give the lads your full support and cross your fingers (and toes) that they can pull off a win and bring three points back with them on the very short journey home.

Aston Villa to beat West Brom! Exclusive 9-1 odds!

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